Standing On My Sister’s Shoulders: Women in the Black Freedom Movement

Open, Lecture—Year

This course examines the definitive leadership of women in the formation of the Black Freedom Movement. Departing from older scholarship that presented a “leading man” narrative of the roots of civil rights and Black Power, this lecture explores the rich lives and legacies of women who were their own liberators. From Rebecca Protten and Maria Stewart, as well as Harriet Tubman and Ida B. Wells, to Rosa Parks, Septima Clark and Dorothy Cotton and to Angela Davis and Assata Shakur, generations of leaders shaped the black radical tradition. Students are invited to learn the epic, yet untold, stories of the war on terror pioneered by Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Claudia Jones, Esther Cooper Jackson, Denise Oliver, Ericka Huggins, Queen Mother Moore, Eslanda Robeson, Gloria Richardson, Diane Nash, Ella Baker, and Vicki Garvin. Students will also rethink the legacies of Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Shirley Chisholm, and so forth. Rather than the one-dimensional caricatures of those leaders, this course explores several dimensions of their leadership.